“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus the crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.” (Mt. 28.5, 6). Jesus has foretold his passion, death and resurrection, more than once to his disciples. Everything that Jesus said, and whatever was prophesied about Him by the prophets had been fulfilled in the history. Seven hundred years before Christ, the Spirit prophesied through prophet Isaiah : “By the perversion of justice he was taken away. For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgressions of my people…. He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth…..Out of his anguish he shall see light…..” (53.8-11). When Jesus said: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn. 2.19), He was foretelling about His own death and resurrection.
The Resurrection of Christ – P. Veronese (WGoA)
While proclaiming to the Corinthians about the resurrection of the dead, St. Paul said: “If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain” (1 Cor. 15.14). Yes, the basis of Christian faith and hope is the resurrection of Jesus. We too are called for resurrection. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6.3, 4)
This ‘walking in newness of life’ should be the daily life-style of every follower of Christ. In the Sacrament of Initiation or Baptism we are sprinkled with holy water, which is a symbolic of partaking into the death of Christ, indicating that we are called to discard the old life of sin and start a new life in Christ. St Paul was certain about the truth: “If we are united with him in a death like his we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6.5). So let our hope be in our Risen Saviour and remember that all the sufferings that we go through in this life are “not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us” (Rom.8.18). A Christian need not be afraid of suffering, persecution and death. Let us be convinced of the truth as St. Paul was: “For me living is Christ and dying is gain….My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil.1.21-23)
But unfortunately in our secular, modern culture our lives are so ‘earth-bound’ and ‘this-worldly’ that we forget our goal in life. We are created by God, we are created to live for His glory and we are created to reach Him for all eternity. St. Paul says about such people: “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor.15.19)
As we thank the Lord for all the blessings and graces of this Easter Season, let us pray to the Holy Spirit to help us keep our gaze on Him as we journey through this pilgrim land, and to put all our hope in Him who has become triumphant over sin, satan, suffering and death .